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legal issues for PC games

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August 11, 2005 2:47:59 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

I'm considering writing a research paper on the subject of legal issues for
PC games. Here are a few topics I'd like to get your opinions on to see if
it's a worthy topic:

When EULA's expressly state that owners cannot "reverse engineer" a
publisher's software, do you, as a consumer -- and specifically a gamer --
consider no-CD cracks and the like as a form of software pirating? How about
"trainers" that somewhat modify, or hack, the overall gameplay (as opposed
to permissable, community-developed "mods")?

What about cases in which software will either not install properly or not
allow standard gameplay when a game detects certain types of installed disc
duplication software?

How can end-user disc backups be considered functional when distributors use
copy protection on their factory-pressed discs? (I realize end-user backups
may not be true, one-to-one copies.)

Finally, what are your feelings about EULA's that are only available for
reading *after* a product has been opened (i.e., within a tamper-evident
retail box or residing on an install disc) and therefore make the game only
returnable for an exchange of an identical product?

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

More about : legal issues games

Anonymous
August 11, 2005 9:04:09 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

On Thu, 11 Aug 2005 10:47:59 -0500, "Sketch" <nah@no.nut> wrote:

>I'm considering writing a research paper on the subject of legal issues for
>PC games. Here are a few topics I'd like to get your opinions on to see if
>it's a worthy topic:
>
>When EULA's expressly state that owners cannot "reverse engineer" a
>publisher's software, do you, as a consumer -- and specifically a gamer --
>consider no-CD cracks and the like as a form of software pirating? How about
>"trainers" that somewhat modify, or hack, the overall gameplay (as opposed
>to permissable, community-developed "mods")?
>
>What about cases in which software will either not install properly or not
>allow standard gameplay when a game detects certain types of installed disc
>duplication software?
>
>How can end-user disc backups be considered functional when distributors use
>copy protection on their factory-pressed discs? (I realize end-user backups
>may not be true, one-to-one copies.)
>
>Finally, what are your feelings about EULA's that are only available for
>reading *after* a product has been opened (i.e., within a tamper-evident
>retail box or residing on an install disc) and therefore make the game only
>returnable for an exchange of an identical product?
>
>Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
>
A court of law takes precedent over any EULA and the courts say I can
legally make a back up of any software I own so they can stick their
EULA up their ass. Is that clear enough?
August 11, 2005 9:04:10 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

> A court of law takes precedent over any EULA and the courts say I can
> legally make a back up of any software I own so they can stick their
> EULA up their ass. Is that clear enough?

Crystal.
Related resources
August 11, 2005 9:11:30 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

On Thu, 11 Aug 2005 10:47:59 -0500, "Sketch" <nah@no.nut> wrote:

>When EULA's expressly state that owners cannot "reverse engineer" a
>publisher's software, do you, as a consumer -- and specifically a gamer --
>consider no-CD cracks and the like as a form of software pirating?

It is only piracy if you are using the crack on a product you don't
legally own. I use no-CD cracks or Alcohol120% when I can so I don't
have to worry about digging out or scratching my discs, not for
reasons of piracy.
--
Andrew, contact via interpleb.blogspot.com
Help make Usenet a better place: English is read downwards,
please don't top post. Trim replies to quote only relevant text.
Check groups.google.com before asking an obvious question.
Anonymous
August 11, 2005 9:28:38 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

"Sketch" <nah@no.nut> wrote in message news:D dfrvh$6ig$1@news.tamu.edu...
> I'm considering writing a research paper on the subject of legal issues
> for PC games. Here are a few topics I'd like to get your opinions on to
> see if it's a worthy topic:
>
> When EULA's expressly state that owners cannot "reverse engineer" a
> publisher's software, do you, as a consumer -- and specifically a gamer --
> consider no-CD cracks and the like as a form of software pirating? How
> about "trainers" that somewhat modify, or hack, the overall gameplay (as
> opposed to permissable, community-developed "mods")?
>

It would be great if the user didn't have to hunt for a CD to play the game.
But I can live with having to insert a CD to play.

As for trainers, most games come with built in cheats. And I rarely use a
cheat unless I'm playing Call of Duty Sniper Town level. ;-)

> What about cases in which software will either not install properly or not
> allow standard gameplay when a game detects certain types of installed
> disc duplication software?

I have Nero 6 installed on my pc and StarForce. Both seem to be working
fine. Now if they didn't, then it would be an issue.

>
> How can end-user disc backups be considered functional when distributors
> use copy protection on their factory-pressed discs? (I realize end-user
> backups may not be true, one-to-one copies.)

I use to backup my games when they were on floppies. But rarely attempt to
do this with CDs/DVDs.

>
> Finally, what are your feelings about EULA's that are only available for
> reading *after* a product has been opened (i.e., within a tamper-evident
> retail box or residing on an install disc) and therefore make the game
> only returnable for an exchange of an identical product?
>

IMO the EULA is useless. Just a guess, but I doubt many folks read them
after opening the box. The work around is to try the demo, read user
opinons, and read as many reviews as possible prior to purchase.
Anonymous
August 11, 2005 11:04:38 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

Sketch wrote:

> Finally, what are your feelings about EULA's that are only available for
> reading *after* a product has been opened

That's why this kind of EULA is void in Germany.

Dennis
Anonymous
August 12, 2005 5:05:33 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

x-no-archive: yes

Schrodinger wrote:

<snip>

you really disappointed me alot with what you wrote in the
riku's steam thread
sincerely i didn't expect you giving up like this
and you know why? cause you are much closer to what an average
pc gamer is than the usual steam fanatic we have in this group

you are what we could call an average pc gamer so if you act
like this with steam probably thousands will also and that will
be a complete tragedy for pc games
steam winning is totally dependant on the attitude of average
pc gamers like yourself
if the average pc gamer gives up steam will end up winning
will you let valve change everything is pc games only to favour
themselves? will you let them SET the RULES? rules that clearly
damage us all pc gamers?
so what i'm asking you Schrodinger is please don't give up like
this

--
post made in a steam-free computer
i said "NO" to valve and steam
Anonymous
August 12, 2005 5:06:22 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

x-no-archive: yes

Sketch wrote:

> I'm considering writing a research paper on the subject of
> legal issues for PC games. Here are a few topics I'd like to

it's very clear what your motivation is
you are doing it all wrong sir
you are researching the wrong subject
go instead to the root of the problem: PIRACY!
don't try to fight a FIRE when its always burning but rather
try to prevent it from starting!
do research in what really matters in pc games PIRACY!
currently its piracy which is conditioning many things in pc
games when it should only be the games itself

the way i see it is you trying to find "legal" excuses to
cover up clearly illegal activities
piracy has been so difficult to fight against cause of this
attitude
if you love pc games you don't pirate them period
its that simple
you pirate it only means you don't respect you don't care
about pc games

> consider no-CD cracks and the like as a form of software

no-cd cracks exist cause publishers make it required to have
the cd to play cause of illegal copying
with no piracy publisher would not need to make it required
to have the cd to play so there should be no need for no cd
cracks... like i told you for every question go to the root
and the root is piracy

> What about cases in which software will either not install

again piracy
the issue is why did it happen in the first place?
and the answer is again... go to the root of the problem
piracy!
people make illegally home made copies in their own computer
to give to others
that is piracy
that is damaging pc games very much so that's why publishers
introduced those kinds of checks
yes its clear the checks are wrong but don't blame publishers
for doing it but instead piracy

> How can end-user disc backups be considered functional

first its a lie you need to backup a cd
its an excuse so you can copy and give the software to all
your friends
again what i talk about... trying to give legal excuses so
it can cover up your illegal activities

cds are so reliable they will out live you for sure
cds last a hundred years
but even if you feel more reassured with a backup you
simply buy a second unit of the game in a store
yes buy TWO instead of one and you have a backup
do you think its unfair?
don't you like pc games? so what is the problem in buying
two of what you like the most? and don't forget after 2 or
3 years pc games drop dramatically in price so you can find
your "backup" with a price as low as 5 bucks
paying 5 bucks for a "backup" copy is very much for someone
like a true pc gamer that love pc games? obviously NO!
its a privilege! its a honor! its a pleasure to buy a second
copy of what you like the most

> Finally, what are your feelings about EULA's that are only

only if the rules change do we need to be warned about
and the rules have changes only cause of piracy
again its piracy the root of the problem

pc gamers know what to expect from a game they buy
the rules are all set and very clear
the rules have been the same way since a decade ago
now cause piracy is becoming so bad so bad publishers
are desperate in seeking ways to fight it and that is
why they sometimes changed the rules
again the problem is with piracy
fight against piracy
if piracy disappears you will not see publishers changing
the rules and with no change in rules you are always
reassured to know what to expect from the product

> Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

do instead a study about piracy
a real important study pointing out new innovative ways to
fight piracy
ways that don't damage us pc gamers
ways that protect the pc game industry profits
that's what you should be focusing your energy and that is
what is now vital for pc games
ways to fight piracy that are friendly to us and at the same
time don't harm and do respect the hard work developers and
publishers do
the key issues are respect for us pc gamers consumer rights
and respect the profits industry must get for pc games to be
well and healthy
yes its a way more difficult and requires more imagination
subject than what you propose but don't you want a good
challenge?
the more the challenge the better the research will end up

ps: i on purpose put aside the issue of steam cause steam
changes everything and yes if i would consider it all my
replies should be different, but cause steam changes all
in pc games and cause steam in specifically a new system
based on internet distribution so i cut it out from this
thread
with the current standard rules in pc games i'm very much
in the side of developers and publishers but with steam
its the other way around, cause with steam i am totally
against developers and publishers and their plans to make
pc games a restrict controlled expensive against consumer
rights product

--
post made in a steam-free computer
i said "NO" to valve and steam
Anonymous
August 13, 2005 2:25:00 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

"Sketch" <nah@no.nut> wrote:
>I'm considering writing a research paper on the subject of legal issues for
>PC games. Here are a few topics I'd like to get your opinions on to see if
>it's a worthy topic:
>
>When EULA's expressly state that owners cannot "reverse engineer" a
>publisher's software, do you, as a consumer -- and specifically a gamer --
>consider no-CD cracks and the like as a form of software pirating? How about

It is not a form of pirating and I also do not see what it has to do
with reverse engineering.

>"trainers" that somewhat modify, or hack, the overall gameplay (as opposed
>to permissable, community-developed "mods")?

Ditto.

>What about cases in which software will either not install properly or not
>allow standard gameplay when a game detects certain types of installed disc
>duplication software?

Never had it happen to me. I'd go looking for a crack. I have Alcohol
120% and Daemon Tools because they're ultra useful.
But anyway, WHAT about those cases? What are you asking?

>How can end-user disc backups be considered functional when distributors use
>copy protection on their factory-pressed discs? (I realize end-user backups
>may not be true, one-to-one copies.)

I don't understand this question either. It seems like more of a
statement - that such discs can not be considered functional.

>Finally, what are your feelings about EULA's that are only available for
>reading *after* a product has been opened (i.e., within a tamper-evident
>retail box or residing on an install disc) and therefore make the game only
>returnable for an exchange of an identical product?

I find that return policies have nothing to do with the EULA or even
opening the box.

>Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
Anonymous
August 13, 2005 2:25:01 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

On Fri, 12 Aug 2005 22:25:00 +0800, Bateau <Gamera@work.stomping.aza>
wrote:

>"Sketch" <nah@no.nut> wrote:
>>I'm considering writing a research paper on the subject of legal issues for
>>PC games. Here are a few topics I'd like to get your opinions on to see if
>>it's a worthy topic:
>>
>>When EULA's expressly state that owners cannot "reverse engineer" a
>>publisher's software, do you, as a consumer -- and specifically a gamer --
>>consider no-CD cracks and the like as a form of software pirating? How about
>
>It is not a form of pirating and I also do not see what it has to do
>with reverse engineering.

It requires a certain amount of reverse engineering to figure out how
to modify the files to bypass the protection and perhaps how the game
itself actually handles disc accesses if the author went with some
sort of oddball file system. It's not reverse engineering from the
standpoint of an end user just downloading a crack and swapping out
the executable or applying a patch, but someone would have had to do
the legwork to create the crack.

Where the piracy issue comes in is that many of these no-cd cracks are
modified versions of the main executable or the launcher from the
original game. I really doubt the authors gave these guys permission
to distribute those files. If the crack was simply a patch, that
contained none of the original author's code, then it wouldn't be an
issue of piracy, but the DCMA style legislations do put it all under
the same umbrella by looking at it as facilitation (ie. a sort of
accomplice to the crime sort of relationship).

---------------------------------------------

MCheu
August 13, 2005 2:25:01 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

> It is not a form of pirating and I also do not see what it has to do
> with reverse engineering.

Fair enough. Then do you think No-CD cracks *facilitate* pirating? Case in
point: One person shares a set of game install discs with several other
people so they can all play the same game concurrently with No-CD cracks.

Concerning reverse engineering ... perhaps I have the terminology wrong, but
I'm referring to cases where hackers rewrite game executables, sometimes
along with other necessary files, to not have the game verify the play disc
is in a drive.

> Never had it happen to me. I'd go looking for a crack. I have Alcohol
> 120% and Daemon Tools because they're ultra useful.
> But anyway, WHAT about those cases? What are you asking?

Sorry about the vagueness, buy my (reworded) question is: Are No-CD cracks
justifiable in these cases?

This brings up another point. You'd rather hunt down a crack instead of look
for a patch from the developer or request a refund from the retailer? Kind
of a "Well, screw you. I'll get this game to work one way or another." I'm
trying to get a consensus.

> I don't understand this question either. It seems like more of a
> statement - that such discs can not be considered functional.

Right, an end-user backup would be used to, at most, install the game. The
copy protection on the original discs would thwart any sort of gameplay.
Based on this, would you consider the dupes true backups? That you could
both install and play from?

If the answer is a resounding "no," then what is a distributor's point of
stating that they allow backups? To me, they obviously don't allow
*functional* backups due to the copy protection measures.

> I find that return policies have nothing to do with the EULA or even
> opening the box.

I'm finding EULA's are just required legalese and don't seem to carry much
weight. As far as returns are concerned, I'm sure the clerk at the customer
service desk doesn't care about EULA's. She just doesn't want to get in
trouble over essentially giving money back to a customer who just copied
some software. Admittedly, EULA's would probably be trumped by the store's
return policy. Or, as Praxiteles Democritus so eloquently pointed out, in a
court of law (if it ever came down to that).

You must shop at more forgiving places than I do. At all the retailers I
know of, open boxes may only be exchanged for the same item and they
certainly won't refund your money. Much like if you tried to return a music
CD these days (ie, they assumed you copied it and just want your money
back).
August 13, 2005 2:25:02 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

>>It is not a form of pirating and I also do not see what it has to do
>>with reverse engineering.
>
> It requires a certain amount of reverse engineering to figure out how
> to modify the files to bypass the protection and perhaps how the game
> itself actually handles disc accesses if the author went with some
> sort of oddball file system. It's not reverse engineering from the
> standpoint of an end user just downloading a crack and swapping out
> the executable or applying a patch, but someone would have had to do
> the legwork to create the crack.

Thanks for your more technical definition of reverse engineering in terms of
creating a No-CD crack. You're correct, an end-user of the crack is not
performing the reverse engineering. Rather, a hacker reconfigures the game's
executable file (and sometimes more) to bypass the disc access check and
start up the game.

> Where the piracy issue comes in is that many of these no-cd cracks are
> modified versions of the main executable or the launcher from the
> original game. I really doubt the authors gave these guys permission
> to distribute those files. If the crack was simply a patch, that
> contained none of the original author's code, then it wouldn't be an
> issue of piracy, but the DCMA style legislations do put it all under
> the same umbrella by looking at it as facilitation (ie. a sort of
> accomplice to the crime sort of relationship).

Correct! Again, thanks for clarifying.
Anonymous
August 13, 2005 1:59:17 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

Quoth The Raven "MCheu" <mpcheu@yahoo.com> in
b4spf1h91hv6hrlig9438fcehqt960k618@4ax.com
> Where the piracy issue comes in is that many of these no-cd cracks are
> modified versions of the main executable or the launcher from the
> original game. I really doubt the authors gave these guys permission
> to distribute those files.

bear in mind that the producers of these cracks don't actually distribute
them, they make them available, but they don't send it out
--
On average, a 4 year old child asks 437 questions a day.

Take out the _CURSEING to reply to me
Anonymous
August 13, 2005 4:13:15 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

"Sketch" <nah@no.nut> wrote:
>> It is not a form of pirating and I also do not see what it has to do
>> with reverse engineering.
>
>Fair enough. Then do you think No-CD cracks *facilitate* pirating? Case in
>point: One person shares a set of game install discs with several other
>people so they can all play the same game concurrently with No-CD cracks.

Of course. Pirating those games is impossible without them. But as long
as they have legitimate uses I support them. Seeing as cracks aren't
going to go away developers should just give up and stop annoying their
customers with copy protection.

>Concerning reverse engineering ... perhaps I have the terminology wrong, but
>I'm referring to cases where hackers rewrite game executables, sometimes
>along with other necessary files, to not have the game verify the play disc
>is in a drive.

I don't think it's illegal to reverse engineer a game just because the
EULA asks you not to.

>> Never had it happen to me. I'd go looking for a crack. I have Alcohol
>> 120% and Daemon Tools because they're ultra useful.
>> But anyway, WHAT about those cases? What are you asking?
>
>Sorry about the vagueness, buy my (reworded) question is: Are No-CD cracks
>justifiable in these cases?

Yes.

>This brings up another point. You'd rather hunt down a crack instead of look
>for a patch from the developer or request a refund from the retailer? Kind
>of a "Well, screw you. I'll get this game to work one way or another." I'm
>trying to get a consensus.

Now why the hell would the developer release a patch that removes their
own copy protection?

>> I don't understand this question either. It seems like more of a
>> statement - that such discs can not be considered functional.
>
>Right, an end-user backup would be used to, at most, install the game. The
>copy protection on the original discs would thwart any sort of gameplay.
>Based on this, would you consider the dupes true backups? That you could
>both install and play from?

No. But if there were cracks available they would still be useful as
backups.

>If the answer is a resounding "no," then what is a distributor's point of
>stating that they allow backups? To me, they obviously don't allow
>*functional* backups due to the copy protection measures.
>
>> I find that return policies have nothing to do with the EULA or even
>> opening the box.
>
>I'm finding EULA's are just required legalese and don't seem to carry much
>weight. As far as returns are concerned, I'm sure the clerk at the customer
>service desk doesn't care about EULA's. She just doesn't want to get in
>trouble over essentially giving money back to a customer who just copied
>some software. Admittedly, EULA's would probably be trumped by the store's
>return policy. Or, as Praxiteles Democritus so eloquently pointed out, in a
>court of law (if it ever came down to that).
>
>You must shop at more forgiving places than I do. At all the retailers I
>know of, open boxes may only be exchanged for the same item and they
>certainly won't refund your money. Much like if you tried to return a music
>CD these days (ie, they assumed you copied it and just want your money
>back).

I never return games because I'm not a pussy noob who doesn't understand
computers. I also read reviews before I buy anything.
Anonymous
August 13, 2005 6:49:34 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

"Sketch" <nah@no.nut> wrote in message news:D dfrvh$6ig$1@news.tamu.edu...
> I'm considering writing a research paper on the subject of legal issues
> for PC games. Here are a few topics I'd like to get your opinions on to
> see if it's a worthy topic:
>
> When EULA's expressly state that owners cannot "reverse engineer" a
> publisher's software, do you, as a consumer -- and specifically a gamer --
> consider no-CD cracks and the like as a form of software pirating? How
> about "trainers" that somewhat modify, or hack, the overall gameplay (as
> opposed to permissable, community-developed "mods")?
>
> What about cases in which software will either not install properly or not
> allow standard gameplay when a game detects certain types of installed
> disc duplication software?
>
> How can end-user disc backups be considered functional when distributors
> use copy protection on their factory-pressed discs? (I realize end-user
> backups may not be true, one-to-one copies.)
>
> Finally, what are your feelings about EULA's that are only available for
> reading *after* a product has been opened (i.e., within a tamper-evident
> retail box or residing on an install disc) and therefore make the game
> only returnable for an exchange of an identical product?
>
> Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
>

My biggest issue with the EULA is that it is usually displayed to you during
installation of the product *AFTER* you've openened the package, at which
point you can't return it. So wtf is one to do?
Anonymous
August 13, 2005 7:27:31 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

"Sketch" <nah@no.nut> wrote in message news:D dj0m6$t0c$1@news.tamu.edu...
<snip>

>
> Right, an end-user backup would be used to, at most, install the game. The
> copy protection on the original discs would thwart any sort of gameplay.
> Based on this, would you consider the dupes true backups? That you could
> both install and play from?
>
> If the answer is a resounding "no," then what is a distributor's point of
> stating that they allow backups? To me, they obviously don't allow
> *functional* backups due to the copy protection measures.
>

You might want to do a web search on this. From what I recall reading a few
years back on this subject is that the companies didn't have to make it EASY
for the consumer to back up the disk.

<snip>
Anonymous
August 14, 2005 4:24:48 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

"OldDog" <OldDog@citypound.dogs> wrote:
>
>"Sketch" <nah@no.nut> wrote in message news:D dj0m6$t0c$1@news.tamu.edu...
><snip>
>
>>
>> Right, an end-user backup would be used to, at most, install the game. The
>> copy protection on the original discs would thwart any sort of gameplay.
>> Based on this, would you consider the dupes true backups? That you could
>> both install and play from?
>>
>> If the answer is a resounding "no," then what is a distributor's point of
>> stating that they allow backups? To me, they obviously don't allow
>> *functional* backups due to the copy protection measures.
>>
>
>You might want to do a web search on this. From what I recall reading a few
>years back on this subject is that the companies didn't have to make it EASY
>for the consumer to back up the disk.

They don't have to make it possible at all. Fair use isn't a right as in
"something they can't take." It's a right as in "you can't be sued for
doing it if you manage to."
August 14, 2005 11:34:34 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

"steamKILLER" <sayNO2steam@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1123833933.719015.219920@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> x-no-archive: yes
>
> Schrodinger wrote:
>
> <snip>
>
> you really disappointed me alot with what you wrote in the
> riku's steam thread
> sincerely i didn't expect you giving up like this
> and you know why? cause you are much closer to what an average
> pc gamer is than the usual steam fanatic we have in this group

Thanks, SK, but I relented and still think Steam stinks.

> you are what we could call an average pc gamer so if you act
> like this with steam probably thousands will also and that will
> be a complete tragedy for pc games
> steam winning is totally dependant on the attitude of average
> pc gamers like yourself
> if the average pc gamer gives up steam will end up winning
> will you let valve change everything is pc games only to favour
> themselves? will you let them SET the RULES? rules that clearly
> damage us all pc gamers?
> so what i'm asking you Schrodinger is please don't give up like
> this
>
> --
> post made in a steam-free computer
> i said "NO" to valve and steam
>
August 15, 2005 2:34:16 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

> Of course. Pirating those games is impossible without them. But as long
> as they have legitimate uses I support them.

By "legitimate uses" I assume you mean uses for not having to use the
original play disc(s) -- whether or not pirating is involved -- as opposed
to lawful uses (or at least legally acceptable uses as determined by the
distributor's EULA).

> Seeing as cracks aren't
> going to go away developers should just give up and stop annoying their
> customers with copy protection.

Yet don't you think the copy protection measures at least lessen casual
copying? A good analogy would be burglar bars. Sure, they can eventually be
compromised, but it takes some work to do it. They're both deterrents.

So you're suggesting developers and distributors should allow their
copywrited work be essentially exposed to rampant duplication? I suppose if
the music industry allows for this sort of vulnerability with CD's then it's
good enough for the game industry.

> I don't think it's illegal to reverse engineer a game just because the
> EULA asks you not to.

Most EULA's I've read state you cannot reverse engineer, and distributors
consider EULA's legally binding contracts (incidentally, in most cases you
don't own the software, you only "lease" it -- that makes sense b/c it's
their intellectual property). Therefore, distributors would consider reverse
engineering to violate said contract. Whether or not that's illegal would be
up to a court to decide, I suppose.

> Now why the hell would the developer release a patch that removes their
> own copy protection?

No, I'm referring to cases where a developer would write an update patch to
compensate for the users' hardware or installed software. For instance, if
certain optical drives or disc duplication software would not allow
installation or gameplay.

> No. But if there were cracks available they would still be useful as
> backups.

True, but using those cracks still wouldn't be considered legal (at least
from the distributor's viewpoint).

> I never return games because I'm not a pussy noob who doesn't understand
> computers. I also read reviews before I buy anything.

Thankfully, I'm not a "pussy noob" either. With 60+ games under my belt over
the last ten or so years, I have also learned that game reviews and hardware
guides are a must for this type of hobby. However, even I would like to be
able to return a dud game or two every now and then.
August 15, 2005 2:34:59 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

> You might want to do a web search on this. From what I recall reading a
> few years back on this subject is that the companies didn't have to make
> it EASY for the consumer to back up the disk.

Caveat emptor, huh?
August 15, 2005 2:41:36 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

> My biggest issue with the EULA is that it is usually displayed to you
> during installation of the product *AFTER* you've openened the package, at
> which point you can't return it. So wtf is one to do?

Right, this follows my final question in my OP. For example, you wouldn't
buy a car first and *then* look over the warranty, terms, etc.

Perhaps distributors could provide a web address to the EULA somewhere on
the packaging so potential buyers could review it online. However, then you
get people who would claim not to have an Internet connection. Ah, well.
Anonymous
August 15, 2005 5:21:55 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

"MCheu" <mpcheu@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:b4spf1h91hv6hrlig9438fcehqt960k618@4ax.com...

> Where the piracy issue comes in is that many of these no-cd cracks are
> modified versions of the main executable or the launcher from the
> original game. I really doubt the authors gave these guys permission
> to distribute those files. If the crack was simply a patch, that
> contained none of the original author's code, then it wouldn't be an
> issue of piracy, but the DCMA style legislations do put it all under
> the same umbrella by looking at it as facilitation (ie. a sort of
> accomplice to the crime sort of relationship).

It depends on the crack. Some of them redistribute the EXE while others just
patch it.
Anonymous
August 15, 2005 5:26:22 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

Is that your way of saying it was too long winded?
Anonymous
August 15, 2005 9:10:02 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

"Sketch" <nah@no.nut> wrote in message news:D dqd3h$nf$1@news.tamu.edu...
>> My biggest issue with the EULA is that it is usually displayed to you
>> during installation of the product *AFTER* you've openened the package,
>> at which point you can't return it. So wtf is one to do?
>
> Right, this follows my final question in my OP. For example, you wouldn't
> buy a car first and *then* look over the warranty, terms, etc.
>
> Perhaps distributors could provide a web address to the EULA somewhere on
> the packaging so potential buyers could review it online. However, then
> you get people who would claim not to have an Internet connection. Ah,
> well.
>

Well, they could have either a digital kiosk for potential buyers to review
it, or have a book with the different EULA's in it. Granted it would have to
be maintained by the store, but hey, they're paid lots of money to sell
these games, they can do a little more than just plop them on the shelves.
Anonymous
August 16, 2005 2:21:40 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

"Sketch" <nah@no.nut> wrote:
>> Of course. Pirating those games is impossible without them. But as long
>> as they have legitimate uses I support them.
>
>By "legitimate uses" I assume you mean uses for not having to use the
>original play disc(s) -- whether or not pirating is involved -- as opposed
>to lawful uses (or at least legally acceptable uses as determined by the
>distributor's EULA).

Lawful uses. Lawful uses are not acceptable according to the EULA.

>> Seeing as cracks aren't
>> going to go away developers should just give up and stop annoying their
>> customers with copy protection.
>
>Yet don't you think the copy protection measures at least lessen casual
>copying? A good analogy would be burglar bars. Sure, they can eventually be
>compromised, but it takes some work to do it. They're both deterrents.

Not really. If someone is going to casually copy a game for their friend
and be balked by copy protection when they could just download a crack
their friend probably doesn't want the game bad enough to buy it anyway.

>So you're suggesting developers and distributors should allow their
>copywrited work be essentially exposed to rampant duplication? I suppose if
>the music industry allows for this sort of vulnerability with CD's then it's
>good enough for the game industry.

Yes. Music is still around.

>> I don't think it's illegal to reverse engineer a game just because the
>> EULA asks you not to.
>
>Most EULA's I've read state you cannot reverse engineer, and distributors
>consider EULA's legally binding contracts (incidentally, in most cases you
>don't own the software, you only "lease" it -- that makes sense b/c it's
>their intellectual property). Therefore, distributors would consider reverse
>engineering to violate said contract. Whether or not that's illegal would be
>up to a court to decide, I suppose.

Distributors can believe what they like. That does not make it true.
I don't think there's ever been a court case where a EULA has been
considered a legally binding contract.
And no, that does not make sense because its their IP. You can own a
copy of an IP.

>> Now why the hell would the developer release a patch that removes their
>> own copy protection?
>
>No, I'm referring to cases where a developer would write an update patch to
>compensate for the users' hardware or installed software. For instance, if
>certain optical drives or disc duplication software would not allow
>installation or gameplay.

I want cracks so I can back the game up and play it from an ISO not
because it doesn't work with my hardware.

>> No. But if there were cracks available they would still be useful as
>> backups.
>
>True, but using those cracks still wouldn't be considered legal (at least
>from the distributor's viewpoint).

You seem to have the funny idea that one person's opinion of what is
legal has any relevance to what is actually legal. It's annoying and I
wish you'd stop.

>> I never return games because I'm not a pussy noob who doesn't understand
>> computers. I also read reviews before I buy anything.
>
>Thankfully, I'm not a "pussy noob" either. With 60+ games under my belt over
>the last ten or so years, I have also learned that game reviews and hardware
>guides are a must for this type of hobby. However, even I would like to be
>able to return a dud game or two every now and then.
Anonymous
August 16, 2005 7:19:20 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

On Sat, 13 Aug 2005 09:59:17 +1000, "Highlandish"
<ckreskay_CURSEING@dodo.com.au> wrote:

>Quoth The Raven "MCheu" <mpcheu@yahoo.com> in
>b4spf1h91hv6hrlig9438fcehqt960k618@4ax.com
>> Where the piracy issue comes in is that many of these no-cd cracks are
>> modified versions of the main executable or the launcher from the
>> original game. I really doubt the authors gave these guys permission
>> to distribute those files.
>
>bear in mind that the producers of these cracks don't actually distribute
>them, they make them available, but they don't send it out

I don't quite get how you make the distinction between distribution
and "making them available". Could you please explain that?
---------------------------------------------
Thanks.


MCheu
Anonymous
August 16, 2005 8:01:11 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

Highlandish wrote:
> Quoth The Raven "MCheu" <mpcheu@yahoo.com> in
> b4spf1h91hv6hrlig9438fcehqt960k618@4ax.com
>
>>Where the piracy issue comes in is that many of these no-cd cracks are
>>modified versions of the main executable or the launcher from the
>>original game. I really doubt the authors gave these guys permission
>>to distribute those files.
>
>
> bear in mind that the producers of these cracks don't actually distribute
> them, they make them available, but they don't send it out

Rubbish. How else do they get on the net?

--
Walter Mitty
-
Useless, waste of money research of the day : http://tinyurl.com/3tdeu
" Format wars could 'confuse users'"
http://www.tinyurl.com
Anonymous
August 16, 2005 8:05:07 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

Sketch wrote:
>>It is not a form of pirating and I also do not see what it has to do
>>with reverse engineering.
>
>
> Fair enough. Then do you think No-CD cracks *facilitate* pirating? Case in
> point: One person shares a set of game install discs with several other
> people so they can all play the same game concurrently with No-CD cracks.

Somethings are black & white : anyone that says No-CD cracks don't
facilitate piracy is a complete idiot. Period.

>
> Concerning reverse engineering ... perhaps I have the terminology wrong, but
> I'm referring to cases where hackers rewrite game executables, sometimes
> along with other necessary files, to not have the game verify the play disc
> is in a drive.

This was covered already no?

>
>
>>Never had it happen to me. I'd go looking for a crack. I have Alcohol
>>120% and Daemon Tools because they're ultra useful.
>>But anyway, WHAT about those cases? What are you asking?
>
>
> Sorry about the vagueness, buy my (reworded) question is: Are No-CD cracks
> justifiable in these cases?
>

For most people, NO-CD cracks are a bonus. For a lot of people it
enables to pirate SW. Nothing clever here.

> This brings up another point. You'd rather hunt down a crack instead of look
> for a patch from the developer or request a refund from the retailer? Kind
> of a "Well, screw you. I'll get this game to work one way or another." I'm
> trying to get a consensus.

Since most retailers dont refund, then those "in the know" hunt for a
crack. never assume that the majority are as au-fait with this stuff as
people whose opinion you are polling here. If everyone was "advanced
enough" to access usenet (even via google), the groups would drown.

>
>
>>I don't understand this question either. It seems like more of a
>>statement - that such discs can not be considered functional.
>
>
> Right, an end-user backup would be used to, at most, install the game. The
> copy protection on the original discs would thwart any sort of gameplay.
> Based on this, would you consider the dupes true backups? That you could
> both install and play from?

Without a crack you can't. So you're going around in circles.

>
> If the answer is a resounding "no," then what is a distributor's point of
> stating that they allow backups? To me, they obviously don't allow
> *functional* backups due to the copy protection measures.
>

And to anyone with half a brain. That has no crack.

>
>>I find that return policies have nothing to do with the EULA or even
>>opening the box.
>
>
> I'm finding EULA's are just required legalese and don't seem to carry much
> weight. As far as returns are concerned, I'm sure the clerk at the customer
> service desk doesn't care about EULA's. She just doesn't want to get in
> trouble over essentially giving money back to a customer who just copied
> some software. Admittedly, EULA's would probably be trumped by the store's
> return policy. Or, as Praxiteles Democritus so eloquently pointed out, in a
> court of law (if it ever came down to that).
>
> You must shop at more forgiving places than I do. At all the retailers I
> know of, open boxes may only be exchanged for the same item and they
> certainly won't refund your money. Much like if you tried to return a music
> CD these days (ie, they assumed you copied it and just want your money
> back).
>
>


--
Walter Mitty
-
Useless, waste of money research of the day : http://tinyurl.com/3tdeu
" Format wars could 'confuse users'"
http://www.tinyurl.com
Anonymous
August 17, 2005 4:15:53 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

"Bateau" <Gamera@work.stomping.aza> wrote in message
news:tisqf1tj32l70tp984vq7lv4gaofbihr84@4ax.com...
> "Sketch" <nah@no.nut> wrote:
>>> It is not a form of pirating and I also do not see what it has to do
>>> with reverse engineering.
>>
>>Fair enough. Then do you think No-CD cracks *facilitate* pirating? Case in
>>point: One person shares a set of game install discs with several other
>>people so they can all play the same game concurrently with No-CD cracks.
>
> Of course. Pirating those games is impossible without them.

You thought VERY wrong.
Most of the copy protections in use in today's games can be copied with disc
duplication software, not to be confused with disc MASTERING software like
a Ahead Nero or Roxio Easy Media Creator that can only output standard CDs
(and of course, copy protected CDs are non-standard).
True duplication software do a sector by sector copy of the disc as well as
copy the copy protection properties of the disc, so it's possible to get a
1:1 version of a copy protected disc,
or at the very least, a functionally equivalent version of the disc so a
crack isn't even needed, which also means you don't even have to reverse
engineer anything.
Of course, all of this is a hell of a lot researching and requires access to
capable hardware and software,
so current copy protection is effective against the most casual copier whose
only disc duplicating software is whatever OEM copying software that came
with their CD burner.
Anonymous
August 17, 2005 6:00:05 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

Walter Mitty <mitticus@gmail.com> wrote:
>Highlandish wrote:
>> Quoth The Raven "MCheu" <mpcheu@yahoo.com> in
>> b4spf1h91hv6hrlig9438fcehqt960k618@4ax.com
>>
>>>Where the piracy issue comes in is that many of these no-cd cracks are
>>>modified versions of the main executable or the launcher from the
>>>original game. I really doubt the authors gave these guys permission
>>>to distribute those files.
>>
>>
>> bear in mind that the producers of these cracks don't actually distribute
>> them, they make them available, but they don't send it out
>
>Rubbish. How else do they get on the net?

Ask Valve! Hahahaha.
Anonymous
August 17, 2005 6:25:39 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

"HockeyTownUSA" <cyberpilot at gmail dot com> wrote in message
news:sIqdnekBTuxDo2PfRVn-2A@comcast.com...
>
> "Sketch" <nah@no.nut> wrote in message news:D dfrvh$6ig$1@news.tamu.edu...
>> I'm considering writing a research paper on the subject of legal issues
>> for PC games. Here are a few topics I'd like to get your opinions on to
>> see if it's a worthy topic:
>>
>> When EULA's expressly state that owners cannot "reverse engineer" a
>> publisher's software, do you, as a consumer -- and specifically a
>> gamer -- consider no-CD cracks and the like as a form of software
>> pirating? How about "trainers" that somewhat modify, or hack, the overall
>> gameplay (as opposed to permissable, community-developed "mods")?
>>
>> What about cases in which software will either not install properly or
>> not allow standard gameplay when a game detects certain types of
>> installed disc duplication software?
>>
>> How can end-user disc backups be considered functional when distributors
>> use copy protection on their factory-pressed discs? (I realize end-user
>> backups may not be true, one-to-one copies.)
>>
>> Finally, what are your feelings about EULA's that are only available for
>> reading *after* a product has been opened (i.e., within a tamper-evident
>> retail box or residing on an install disc) and therefore make the game
>> only returnable for an exchange of an identical product?
>>
>> Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
>>
>
> My biggest issue with the EULA is that it is usually displayed to you
> during installation of the product *AFTER* you've openened the package, at
> which point you can't return it. So wtf is one to do?

Call the publisher and demand a refund from them.
It's part of the manufacturer's warranty.
Anonymous
August 17, 2005 1:47:56 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

Quoth The Raven: Walter Mitty <mitticus@gmail.com> in
3me9t4F16itamU1@uni-berlin.de
> Highlandish wrote:
>> Quoth The Raven "MCheu" <mpcheu@yahoo.com> in
>> b4spf1h91hv6hrlig9438fcehqt960k618@4ax.com
>>
>>> Where the piracy issue comes in is that many of these no-cd cracks
>>> are modified versions of the main executable or the launcher from
>>> the original game. I really doubt the authors gave these guys
>>> permission to distribute those files.
>>
>>
>> bear in mind that the producers of these cracks don't actually
>> distribute them, they make them available, but they don't send it out
>
> Rubbish. How else do they get on the net?

the guy will post it once, everyone then grabs it, but the guy never
"distributed" it

--
A conclusion is simply the place where you got tired of thinking.

Take out the _CURSING to reply to me
Anonymous
August 17, 2005 1:52:29 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

Quoth The Raven: MCheu <mpcheu@yahoo.com> in
pje4g11osfqct69tgacfsg8l44bc6fqbel@4ax.com
> On Sat, 13 Aug 2005 09:59:17 +1000, "Highlandish"
> <ckreskay_CURSEING@dodo.com.au> wrote:
>
>> Quoth The Raven "MCheu" <mpcheu@yahoo.com> in
>> b4spf1h91hv6hrlig9438fcehqt960k618@4ax.com
>>> Where the piracy issue comes in is that many of these no-cd cracks
>>> are modified versions of the main executable or the launcher from
>>> the original game. I really doubt the authors gave these guys
>>> permission to distribute those files.
>>
>> bear in mind that the producers of these cracks don't actually
>> distribute them, they make them available, but they don't send it out
>
> I don't quite get how you make the distinction between distribution
> and "making them available". Could you please explain that?
> ---------------------------------------------
> Thanks.
>
>
> MCheu

imo a mail out subscription is a distribution method. if it was plonked
out in the open once, and everyone copied it and sent it around
individualy, then the owner of the original file cant be found to have
distributed it. i was only being pedantic on the point of being illegal
to sell and distribute methods of bypassing copyprotection

--
Smash forehead on keyboard to continue.

Take out the _CURSING to reply to me
Anonymous
August 17, 2005 3:01:27 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

In article <43027b30$0$18636$14726298@news.sunsite.dk>,
Highlandish <ckreskay_CURSING@dodo.com.au> wrote:
>
>the guy will post it once, everyone then grabs it, but the guy never
>"distributed" it

Making a work available for public access is generally considered to
be either "publishing", "distributing" or "performing" the work,
depending on the nature of the work and other circumstances
surrounding it. All of these will tend to be covered by relevant
copyright law.

Cheers
Bent D
--
Bent Dalager - bcd@pvv.org - http://www.pvv.org/~bcd
powered by emacs
Anonymous
August 17, 2005 3:03:50 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

In article <3mea4hF16mvdkU1@uni-berlin.de>,
Walter Mitty <mitticus@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>Somethings are black & white : anyone that says No-CD cracks don't
>facilitate piracy is a complete idiot. Period.

Then again, computers also facilitate piracy. As do power sockets. Not
to mention hands and fingers.

Cheers
Bent D
--
Bent Dalager - bcd@pvv.org - http://www.pvv.org/~bcd
powered by emacs
Anonymous
August 17, 2005 5:42:16 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

Highlandish wrote:

>
> the guy will post it once,

In other words he has published it.

By your logic a virus writer is innocent because he only sent it to one
person.
Anonymous
August 17, 2005 5:42:57 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

Bent C Dalager wrote:
> In article <3mea4hF16mvdkU1@uni-berlin.de>,
> Walter Mitty <mitticus@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>>Somethings are black & white : anyone that says No-CD cracks don't
>>facilitate piracy is a complete idiot. Period.
>
>
> Then again, computers also facilitate piracy. As do power sockets. Not
> to mention hands and fingers.
>

And did I say any different. But there are degrees of facilitation.
Anonymous
August 18, 2005 1:49:25 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

Quoth The Raven: Walter Mitty <mitticus@gmail.com> in
3mgm4mF16u25hU4@uni-berlin.de
> Highlandish wrote:
>
>>
>> the guy will post it once,
>
> In other words he has published it.
>
> By your logic a virus writer is innocent because he only sent it to
> one person.

publishing on his own website is not distributing it unless he actually
sends it to someone. if you download it, that doesn't mean he therefore
distributed it.

in terms of a newspaper, a publisher creates it, the printer fabricates
it and a distributor distributes it.


--
My operat~1 system unders~1 long filena~1 , does yours ?

Take out the _CURSING to reply to me
Anonymous
August 18, 2005 1:49:26 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

On Wed, 17 Aug 2005 21:49:25 +1000, "Highlandish"
<ckreskay_CURSING@dodo.com.au> wrote:
>Quoth The Raven: Walter Mitty <mitticus@gmail.com> in
>3mgm4mF16u25hU4@uni-berlin.de
>> Highlandish wrote:
>>
>>>
>>> the guy will post it once,
>>
>> In other words he has published it.
>>
>> By your logic a virus writer is innocent because he only sent it to
>> one person.
>
>publishing on his own website is not distributing it unless he actually
>sends it to someone. if you download it, that doesn't mean he therefore
>distributed it.

Putting (publishing) it on a website is 'making it available for public
consumption', which is a form of distribution. Whether anyone actually
downloads it or not is pretty irrelevant because a lawyer could prove
'intent to distribute' by virtue of the item being 'made available at a
publically accessible location'.
>
>in terms of a newspaper, a publisher creates it, the printer fabricates
>it and a distributor distributes it.

Invalid example; 'publishing' to a website is a term describing putting
it there, which is in line with the dictionary definition 'To prepare
and issue material for public distribution or sale'.
--
Alfie
<http://www.delphia.co.uk/&gt;
A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
!